CBDCs: How Dangerous ARE They? by@decentralizediva

CBDCs: How Dangerous ARE They?

Central Banking Digital Currencies may pose the single greatest threat to personal liberty in our lifetime. CBDCs are built on a distributed ledger, issued by a nation’s state bank, representing its fiat currency. Unlike Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), they are centrally created and controlled. The first, most well-known and potentially impactful CBDC is the Digital Yuan of China. The Chinese government has already started to distribute free digital yuan. While the Chinese Communist Party insists their efforts are aimed at digitizing banknotes and coins.
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Exactly what 7 benefits do they promise — and how are these lies?

CBDCs or Central Banking Digital Currencies may pose the single greatest threat to personal liberty in our lifetime.

CBDCs are built on a distributed ledger, issued by a nation’s state bank, representing its fiat currency. An important distinction to note is that unlike Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), they are centrally created and controlled.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in favor of a U.S. issued CBDC said: “In particular...you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies if you had a digital U.S. currency.”

This is kind of like saying, “You wouldn’t need organic fresh fruit if you had pesticide-sprayed GMO frankenfruit.” Or, “You wouldn’t need your natural immune system if you had an experimental mRNA injection.” Or more to the point, “You wouldn’t need pesky personal freedoms if you had the shiny shackles of slavery.”

Notice how each big powerful organization in these examples appeals to what the individual “needs” while it offers what Big Gov, Big Aggra, and Big Pharma want, to make you weak and dependent -- and to make them filthy rich and even more powerful. Don’t pay attention to your actual financial, psychological or physical health. Here’s something new and shiny...enjoy the chains. After all, they keep you safe.

And they’re “free.” As they say in advertising, if it’s “free,” then YOU are the product.

CBDCs are now being debated, tested, and deployed in at least 81 countries. 7 countries have CBDCs, while 14 conduct pilot programs,16 are in development, 32 in research, 10 are inactive and somehow 2 have been canceled.

The first, most well-known, and potentially impactful CBDC is the Digital Yuan of China. The People’s Bank of China reports 21 million Chinese citizens have opened a virtual wallet for the Digital Yuan. The Chinese goal of launching their CBDC in time for the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 has been achieved.

Raising concern over issues of national security, on July 19th, 2021, U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn, Cynthia Lummis and Roger Wicker sent a letter to the Olympic & Paralympic Committee urging American athletes not to accept the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) central bank digital currency.

From that letter:

“…the Chinese government has already started to distribute free digital yuan. While the Chinese Communist Party insists their efforts are aimed at digitizing banknotes and coins, Olympic athletes should be aware that the digital yuan may be used to surveil Chinese citizens and those visiting China on an unprecedented scale, with the hopes that they will maintain digital yuan wallets on their smartphones and continue to use it upon return. The integration of China’s digital currency into global commerce has many problematic privacy implications. These concerns are especially pronounced given the Chinese Communist Party’s use of new and emerging technologies to suppress the Uyghur minority, the people of Hong Kong, and those across China who strive for freedom of expression. These concerns are not hypothetical. Rather, digital payment platforms such as WeChat, are already being used to surveil, threaten, and arrest Chinese citizens.”

1. Keeping up with China

Like some digital currency version of a cold war nuclear arms race, some worry about the CBDC threat posed by China, believing it could topple the precious dominance of the US dollar or threaten monetary policy in smaller countries like Canada. Might a U.S.-issued CBDC counter this “threat?”

First, the US dollar’s reserve currency status is due to its powerful banking establishment and agreements with OPEC regarding the Petrodollar in addition to other numerous economic advantages. The Chinese CBDC does not affect these in the least.

Heck, brave Canadians situated next to the greatest monetary power in history steadfastly continue to use Canadian dollars, not USD. Oh, Canada, indeed.

Image by Allange from Pixabay

Image by Allange from Pixabay

2. Safety

A commonly claimed advantage to CBDCs is the warm and fuzzy feeling of safety and security it would offer citizens. Considering it will be governments designing and deploying these, the digital currency’s perceived safety will depend on the public’s confidence in their government. Since the onset of CV19, the confidence of citizens in their governments worldwide has plummeted, almost as quickly as their civil liberties. Coincidence?

Pew Research Center reports: “Only about one-quarter of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right ‘just about always (2%) or ‘most of the time’ (22%).”

There is no reasonable way a state-issued digital currency would offer citizens more security. The fact is, citizens in most countries today may already access bank accounts protected by government deposit insurance. In the United States, the FDICs standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.

Adding to the question of whether a U.S. issued CBDC might be safer or actually, a point of vulnerability, Federal Reserve Governor, Christopher Waller and Federal Reserve Governor, Randal Quarles, warned that a CBDC would be a target for cybersecurity threats.

Solana, one of the most trusted, promising smart contract blockchain protocols, recently experienced 17 hours offline due to unforeseen circumstances. Imagine if a less efficient government-created platform controlling your finances was hacked or glitched and went offline for 17 hours without warning.

Federal Reserve Governor Waller stated in a speech organized by the American Enterprise Institute in August, "I remain skeptical that a Federal Reserve CBDC would solve any major problem confronting the U.S. payment system." The question is, will our power-hungry despots listen to reason? Given their track record, most likely not.

3. Cutting Costs

Jamiel Sheikh, Adjunct at Columbia Business School and Founder of the CBDC Think Tank in Washington DC stated, "CBDCs...may help reduce costs related to issuing paper currency. For example, the Federal Reserve spends 6 cents for every physical dollar it prints and about 11 cents for a $5 note.”

What must be factored into any cost-saving analysis are the incurred costs of research, development, programming, education, promotion, and presentation of any new monetary public policy, especially one with such relatively complex ramifications and issues. The introduction of a digital wallet or app, its interoperability with other digital wallets and payment systems, and user support for these new systems would have to be considered as well.

Of course, most people have plenty of room on their phones for another app. And who doesn’t enjoy the challenge of learning how to stumble through one more glitchy government app?

4. Speed

An ACH payment may take days to settle. Some believe a CBDC would solve this problem.

Public and private sectors already provide cheaper, faster, more reliable, and accessible retail payments systems within and across borders. Inside the European Union, the TIPS system offers a processing time of 10 seconds at €0.002 per transaction. It does not require a CBDC.

Today, Transferwise, MoneyGram, and Western Union all execute real-time remittance from the U.S. and Canada to locations worldwide without a CBDC.

Citizens and institutions in the U.S. enjoy real-time domestic payments through the new breed of instant networks including Zelle, MasterCard Send, Visa Direct, and The Clearing House’s Real-Time Payments system.

The U.S. FedNow project, to debut in 2024, will increase this capacity. Payments Canada’s Real-Time Rail debuts later in 2021.

We don’t even have to go into the speeds soon available with certain cryptocurrencies.

5. Serving the Unbanked

Around 5.4% of American households do not have bank accounts. Might a CBDC help?

Many unbanked Americans don’t trust banks, in which case, would they trust a virtual currency issued by the government?

In fact, the U.S. already has a solution for the unbanked; The Treasury issues Direct Express debit cards to benefit these people. Problem solved.

On financial inclusion, India presents an interesting case. In 2014, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) provided basic, no-minimum bank accounts free of charge, with its universal biometric personal identification to lower costs. Through the program, over 420 million people have joined the system, with account balances averaging about $50 USD. Although India’s success required subsidies, it certainly did not need CBDCs.

Of course, legitimate decentralized cryptos continue to offer a true alternative, fiat-free, for the unbanked.

6. Privacy

Government-issued digital currencies pose a clear threat to personal privacy, as transaction tracking, categorizing, and reporting -- ostensibly to discourage money laundering -- would surely be implemented. The idea that privacy features might somehow be included in a CBDC is beyond ludicrous.

7. Stability

Despite the well-known volatility of major cryptocurrencies, stability in CBDCs would be even more elusive. CBDCs may be programmed not only to earn interest -- and in what fantasy world would this happen? -- but to lose interest in the form of negative interest rates. The adoption of a government-determined programmable negative interest rate digital currency -- incrementally decreasing in value the longer it is held -- would encourage holders of such a currency to liquidate their CBDC into other available assets as fast as possible to avoid loss of value.

CBDCs could even be programmed to have expiration dates, with their value wiped out completely at a certain time or if used for a certain purpose. (Imagine Weimar Republic wheel barrels of worthless marks flying through the air, but in CBDCs on our smartphones...)

The Bank Policy Institute (BPI) touts this programmable potential of CBDCs as allowing the “potential for interest rates to no longer be constrained by the zero-lower bound (ZLB), assuming that a CBDC could pay negative interest and paper currency were eliminated.” (emphasis mine.)

Unfortunately, this organization does not recognize the dangers of such arbitrary government devaluation of a nation's currency.

Besides this clear threat to financial stability is the rising rate of inflation, unrestrained now more than at any time in history, due to stimulus, quantitative easing, unemployment disbursement, and corporate bailouts. All CBDCs would be controlled not by democratic vote, but by governmental decree.

Considering these issues, any still somehow free individual might consider BTC, ETH, or a host of other decentralized alternatives to preserve their wealth as well as their privacy and liberty -- while they have the opportunity.

How dangerous are CBDCs to individuals worldwide? This is the systematic destruction of monetary value.

The way to understand and process these uncomfortable threats to personal freedom is by analyzing all possible alternatives and taking decisive action. This is a call for us all to educate ourselves about decentralized systems like Bitcoin. To acquaint ourselves with DeFi. To invest wisely in what makes sense to each of us, according to our own unique situation and needs. To resist the all too common paralysis of fear that results when confronted by such a potentially overwhelming force as Big Government.

We must remember the personal sovereignty we each possess over our own destiny.

The answer to fear is understanding and action.

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Yet unlike David standing up to Goliath, we are not just one small individual, facing a giant; we are many.

So let us increase our numbers. Share what you know with those you love. Find alternatives to the lies foisted upon us by our nefarious overlords and their insidious propagandists. Share this story with your family, friends, and neighbors. Share the truth and take action today.

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